Arsenal defence branded useless by former Gunner turned pundit

Mikel Arteta inherited a useless defence at Arsenal according to Charlie Nicolas.

Arsenal has been having one of their most underwhelming seasons since Arsene Wenger was made their manager two decades ago, however, Mikel Arteta’s appointment looks set to help them get back to the good old days.

The Spaniard has helped them get back to form, restored confidence among the players and belief among the fans.

The club seems to be heading in the right direction at the moment, however, that hasn’t stopped Charlie Nicolas from slamming the state the club was in when Mikel Arteta was appointed as their new manager.

The former Arsenal star claimed that his former side was a mess when Arteta stepped in and he expressed hope that Arteta can turn things around at the back with the arrival of Pablo Mari.

He also added via his Sky Sports column that the return of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang from suspension would make things better.

“Arsenal fans do appreciate what Mikel Arteta is trying to do, bringing appetite and energy to the team and giving his side the chance to learn from the philosophy he has brought in. The young players have bought into it.

“I think he has inherited a mess, though. To draw 12 games is a scandal and the defence has been useless. Perhaps Pablo Mari will be able to bolster it – we’ll see.

“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is coming back fresh, which could be the difference.”

He does state the obvious a little bit too much does old Charlie and I am not sure he will be that overjoyed at the turnaround at Arsenal. I mean, it will mean less negative opinions from him and his fellow former Gooners turned pundits making a career out of attacking Arsenal.


  1. The defense suffered because of Wenger’s and Emery’s bad systems that exposed our defenders. The quality of our two DMs is not great either and they had to retrieve the ball alone without the no 10 player’s help

    Arteta changed that by instructing the RB to cut inside and help the two DMs, but the attacking flow became too left-sided afterwards. A left-footed CB like Mari could balance the distribution out, as what Man City did with Aymeric Laporte

    I bet Arteta’s priority in the next season is replacing the no 10 position with an extra midfielder or finding another no 10 who is good in counter-pressing and ball retrieving. I think Ceballos’ versatility could make him ideal for those roles, but he has to be given more starting chances first

    1. No PAL- no problem with your Post at all. It’s the normal crap I’ve come to expect.
      It has nothing to do with whatever systems are used, and everything to do with the hopelessly untalented defenders that both Wenger and Emery bought, and then coached (sic). Are you telling me that Klopp could not putout a team in a 3/5 at the back if he felt he needed to? Wenger particularly wanted shooting for some of the purchases he brought at the back.
      The first thing I want from any of my defenders is to defend.Nothing else.Defend.
      Anything else comes after the defence is tight, not something we are used to at Arsenal is it?
      So that’s why you’ve been pulled up PAL.
      And I will happily take on that bet with you as well. Ozil will still be at Arsenal next year but Ceballos will not.

    2. gotanidea, can I ask you this?

      Why would you only emphasise the No. 10 to help the CB’s?

      Does this number on a shirt represent a mythical connotation in your views on football?

      A defence is/should/must be a unit, so why are you not asking why the CB’s were not supported by them, along with the DM players?

      Ceballos will be going back to Madrid in the summer, so of course MA will be planning for that eventuality and I bet he will be STILL working on the defensive side of our game, while using the abundance of younger players he has already.

  2. I see where you are coming from Admin,but we are all gooners at heart and have all attacked them in the past at some time or another,no more so than in recent years.
    However, pundits are paid to give their opinion,it just seems worse because they are airing their views in a more public way.

  3. Gotanidea with is football theorem, left CV, inverted blah! Blah! You should try a career in coaching who knows, you might be the next J. klopp !!!

      1. Someone rude would say they give you a call Phil but I would never say that because it would be unnecessary and I would use different wording to get a point across. It makes for a more harmonious debate.

        1. Gotanidea
          You carry on as normal
          Whilst some people on this site think it’s ok to take the P in an unpleasant manner, I don’t
          I may not agree and frequently don’t understand your posts but being gratuitously rude isn’t my scene

  4. ‘TV pundits’ are never looking out for any good thing to say about Arsenal. It is so easy to throw mud at the club and so hard to say something complimentary. Shows how genuine their ‘love’ for the club is.

    Charlie Nicholas is just a jack ass. Simple. Who cares what he thinks about Arsenal? He can go jump in a lake for all I care. We all know what he always thinks anyway. So, Admin, why bother?

  5. Why does Charlie Nicolas always talk so negative about Arsenal? Agreed that the defence was a total mess when Arteta inherited our team but Charlie must be more optimistic about our future under Arteta, say better things about the system brought about and the confidence oozing in the team. An ex Gunner should have Arsenal in his heart no matter what. Up the Gunners!

    1. Let’s be honest the defense left by Arsene Wenger to be inherited by Unai Emery was a joke compared to the one Wenger inherited from Bruce Rioch. In addition that side also included one Dennis Bergkamp, as well as Ian Wright, Ray Parlour and Paul Merson.
      In addition there is no evidence (in my opinion and I stand to be corrected) that Emery was given any say in the players scouted and recruited for him to coach during his tenure.
      Thus “Champagne Charlie” hasn’t researched his “facts” too well.

  6. I have noticed it for sometime that when gotanidea has a comment, a lot fans here hate it, does it mean you know each other or maybe you people just him? or what wrong does he commited to you?

    1. Yes, it has been noticed. I am satisfied that Gotanidea can handle himself, you do not get to 6500 plus comments without doing so. He has controversial opinions but so do all the long term regulars and so some latitude is given to all the long term regulars but respect must be maintained and pile ons are not welcome on here.

  7. Okay, Charlie is stating the obvious but he is also trying to relay a sense of depth as to the lack of urgency to fix the problems until mid way this season. Only now that we have MA on board to manage are the club “properly” actually acknowledging the problem. When we are so far behind top 4 and very unlikely to reach 5th place and a full 21 point away from a stuttering Man City!

    I think Charlie is only trying to emphasise how poor the defence is because he also knows pressure needs to be put on the club now before the transfer window closes. If Arsenal fail to fix the biggest issues now, it’s still possible to dragged into relegation battles!

    As an Arsenal man, Charlie would hate to see it happen and he’s passionate about it, that’s all!!

  8. So what’s new, Charlie? Anything we don’t already know? Or are you just repeating what everyone else has already said? Come on, be original for a change and tell us something we really don’t know and that is not a rumour.

  9. Well if Charlie thought Arteta had inherited a poor defence, he wont be much happier, we have just inherited two more. Lol

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